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After a high profile premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, and going on worldwide release in 2014, the $10m production of Coming Home brought together some of China’s leading talents – both in front of and behind the camera.



It also took advantage of Sony’s flagship F65 cameras and the very latest Codex workflow technology to streamline the hefty data payload and speed up the delivery of essential archive copies.

Coming Home is directed by celebrated Chinese film director, producer, writer and actor Zhang Yimou, who made his directorial debut in 1987 with Red Sorghum, and went on to make the internationally-acclaimed Raise The Red Lantern and House Of Flying Daggers. Along with Zhang, Chinese super-star actors Daoming Chen and Li Gong take lead roles, and the production was lit by Xiaoding Zhao, who was nominated for the 2004 Academy Award for best cinematography for his work on House Of Flying Daggers.

Coming Home takes its inspiration from Chinese writer Yan Geling’s novel The Criminal Lu Yanshi, revolving around the tumultuous life of a Chinese dissident from the 1920s to the 1990s. Zhang has focused on the second part of the work in which Lu Yashi returns home after 20 years in a labour camp only to discover his wife has forgotten him. Although he was reluctantly wedded to her in an unwanted arranged marriage decades earlier, Lu has finally decided that she is the love of his life.

The movie was shot on locations in Beijing and the cities of Tianjin and Tangshan in northeastern China.

4K footage from the F65 cameras was captured to Sony SR Memory cards and then transferred to Codex Vault. It is estimated that the two F65 cameras used on the production shot up to 120 minutes of 4K footage each day, delivering an average daily data volume of around 3TB.

“Codex Vault, and the support we had from the Codex China team, gave me great confidence that all the footage we shot on this 100-day production was safe and secure,” noted cinematographer Xiaoding Zhao. “Out of all of the digital cinematography cameras currently available, Sony F65 4K footage has the heaviest data payload, but Codex Vault handled it smoothly. Codex Vault is also lightweight, compact and offered great mobility between the multiple locations at which we shot.”

The speed and efficiency of Codex Vault was also appreciated by the production’s DIT, Hangayn. “I found Codex Vault to be robust, well-designed and really easy to use. It has all the features we needed for this shoot – principally cloning and archiving to LTO-6 – fully integrated into one box, and this made my on-set life really simple every day. After getting the SR Memory card, the only thing I needed to do was insert it into the Vault’s SR Memory Reader slot, and the predefined workflow did the ingest, cloning and archive tasks for me automatically.”



Xinming Huang, producer on Coming Home, noted the cost-effectiveness of Codex Vault, especially for creating archive copies. “Codex Vault is the only workflow system capable of handling F65 4K footage for clone and archive. LTO is a reliable and cost-effective archive medium, and the ability of Vault to create dual LTO-6 archive tapes for just the cost of the tapestock gave me peace of mind and helped with the budget.”

Anticipation of Coming Home is such that movie distributor Wild Bunch snapped up international sales of the film, with Sony Pictures Classics acquiring rights for North America, Latin America, Australia, and New Zealand.


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